It’s that time again. Your sweet, perfect, brilliant children whom you have nurtured and shaped into adult-sized beings are going off to college. You may have brought them up in a God-fearing, libertarian or conservative household, emphasizing the positive aspects of achievement, individual liberty, and self-responsibility. You describe them as having a good head on their shoulders, sensible, responsible.
Well, buckle up. They are about to be thrown into the writhing, seething, cesspool of different ideas, philosophies, temptations. The being that comes home after the first semester, may bear only the faintest resemblance to your sweet baby who waved goodbye to you at the Student Union a few months ago.
To help you understand what’s going on (and maybe remind you of what it used to be like), I’ve developed this handy-dandy guide to college based on the 7 Deadly Sins—Pride, Wrath, Sloth, Lust, Avarice, Gluttony, Envy. Contrary to most people, I believe that the worst of these sins is not Pride, it’s Envy.
Let me explain why.
You can see the sin of Pride in your little darling when the grades start slipping and there is no request for help. Most kids who go to college already have a lot of expectations on them, especially the smart scholarship types. It will not come naturally to them to ask for help, because they’ve never had to. And, up to this point, they’ve managed to use their excellent brains to solve the problem.
Their sin of being over prideful probably won’t affect anyone else. They may flunk, but it won’t drag down their roommates.
Wrath is pretty self-explanatory. They should have learned how to control their anger response. They will get triggered by something—whether it’s the hippy dippy professor who wants to outlaw fossil fuels and guns or their roommate who leaves the lid off the peanut butter jar.
Learning how to deal with their anger is an on-going social skill development path. Just make sure the reactions don’t go overboard.
Sloth—ah the temptation to not go to class, to sleep in, to not put in the time required. How many semesters after the first one did you try to schedule your courses to start at 11 and end at 2? Well, your young one is going to be faced with a 7 a.m. English Composition course, too. And, not showing up, especially on Monday and Friday mornings, can be detrimental to the GPA.
Lust. It’s not just safe sex anymore. It’s consent. In fact, if I had a kid heading off to STD State, I’d make sure they had several consent forms ready to go. Since most universities have abandoned the notion of due process, having written consent from Chutney the crazy art student, can go a long way to making her complaint lodged six months after your kid stopped texting her go away. Do it. College is no longer a place to exercise the right to hook-up. It’s a sexual minefield. Condoms and consent forms. Don’t let them leave home without them.
Avarice. This might not be a problem for most college students. Simply put, they just don’t have the money to be overly greedy.
Gluttony. Freshman Fifteen. ‘Nuf said.
Now we get to Envy. I said earlier this is the most dangerous of the deadly sins. Pride, Sloth, Lust, Avarice, Gluttony. Those end up causing damage to the sinner alone (for the most part). Anger can possibly cause you to lose control to destroy another person, but not always. Envy, on the other hand, is completely focused on destroying other people.
Envy will form the basis for all the political discussions your little angel will be exposed to. Envy is at the heart of Socialism, and that will be crammed down your baby’s throat day in and day out.
Unlike covetousness (wanting something that is not yours to have) or jealousy (wishing someone else’s success was yours), envy is almost completely destructive.
Envy observes the excellence of others and desires to stop it. It sees the good fortune of someone and wants to punish it.
Envy says “at some point you’ve made enough money”. Envy says “capitalism causes income inequality, and therefore, the money you make should be ripped from you and given to me.”. Writing for FEE.org, Jeffrey Tucker says it this way, “[Envy] merely achieves the goal of satisfying the anger you feel when looking upon the happiness of others. It tears down. It harms. It hurts. It crushes, smashes, and kills. It begins with resentment against others’ achievements and ends in the infliction of personal harm.”
Your child will be exposed to envy the minute they walk on campus. Fight for $15? Envy. Mandatory Toxic Masculinity indoctrination? Envy? Gender non-specific pronouns? Envy. Capitalism kills? Envy.
Every one of these “philosophies” is rooted in envy. You may think you’ve inoculated your kid against this, but you probably haven’t. They will be surrounded by people who, for some reason or other, believe themselves to limited intellectually, in skill sets, in creativity, etc. They may even think they have a weird personality which causes others to not like them; or they may even just not want to try to achieve anything. These are the people who sow such resentment because others have passed them by, that they begin to rip apart society just to make themselves feel better.
In other words, these are the professors who are going to shape your kid for the next four years.
Universities have been the breeding ground which has normalized the idea of envy as a political motivator—Eat the rich! Distribute the wealth! It’s not fair! Academics have tried to rehabilitate envy (it is a Deadly Sin after all) because they just want to be “fair”. They’ve taken an ancient sin, and turned it into a political virtue!
And that’s what your kids are going to face. It’s dangerous.
Sure, envy might seem relatively benign in some political packages. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sees herself as a community healer, a bringer of peace. The history professor might frame his course as helping people related to the pain of the marginalized communities.
But what happens when these people start calling for the state to punish those who have become wealthy, including the donors to the very institution your kids attend?
Every lecture, every article that your kid reads will be rooted in envy. Your little freshman might start blaming others’ successes for their own failures. He or she will show up after the first semester and start complaining that the house is too big, the car is too nice, or you’re very existence is racist.
Don’t laugh this off and say it’s just a phase. After all, as numerous people have said “if you’re not a Communist when you’re 20 you have no heart. If you’re still a Communist when you’re 30 you have no brain”.
Envy is a virus that invades the soul and crushes it.
So, vaccinate your little darling before you send them off. Everything else is really nothing to worry about.
Follow me on Twitter @janevonmises